Rohrabacher: Stop Funding Pakistan’s Unreliable Government
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Friday offered an amendment to the Defense appropriations bill to stop the flow of Americans’ tax dollars to Pakistan’s government, arguing it has undermined efforts to combat terrorism. Following are remarks the congressmen gave in support of his amendment:
“It is a farce to believe that our aid, sometimes deceptively labeled as ‘reimbursements,’ is buying Pakistan’s cooperation in hunting down terrorists.
“It was the Pakistani establishment that sheltered Osama bin Laden for years. And they continue to jail Dr. Afridi, the man who helped the CIA locate bin Laden. Why would Pakistan do that if they are really on our side?
“The abysmal human rights record of the Pakistani government is shameful. It is even worse because American money contributes to strengthening the security forces that kill and persecute minority groups who are denied their right to self-determination. This is especially true for the Baloch and Sindhi, two large ethnic minority groups in Pakistan. Our money equips the Pakistan military, which brutally oppresses the aspirations of both of these people, both of which have a long history separate from Pakistan.
“Pakistan is not an ally, and any money we send them only strengthens their ability to act against us and against Afghanistan as we withdraw our military. We cannot buy the friendship of a government whose strategic interests are not aligned with ours. They are allied with terrorist elements and our ever more dangerous adversary, Communist China.
“At a time of tight budgets, we should reserve our aid for our true friends and allies.
“Furthermore, the Appropriations Committee didn’t even put an exact dollar figure in this bill for the money that is going to Pakistan. Instead, they inserted a place holder because we have not yet received a formal figure from the Administration. What will happen when we get that formal figure? Will we simply serve as a rubber stamp to the Administration and insert their requested number into the Conference Report? I would hope not.
“It is our duty as elected members of this House of Representatives to determine how much and to whom tax dollars will be appropriated, and I implore my colleagues to send a message today that we will not send another dime to Pakistan as long as they continue to act belligerently toward the United States.
“The policy which has us funding Pakistan’s military is wrong, and the fact that we can’t even debate a precise dollar figure is absurd. It is insane for us to continue borrowing large sums of money from China to give to Pakistan. I ask my colleagues to support my amendment and end this counter productive use of our limited resources which has continued for far too long.”